News & Announcements

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    Port Chester Residents to Vote on 2018 PCMS Bond Project

    The Port Chester School District asks community residents to vote on a vital, comprehensive $12.5 million BOND PROJECT for much-needed renovations to Port Chester Middle School’s building exterior on Tuesday, FEBRUARY 6, 2018. This project primarily addresses the recent emergency safety work and necessary reconstruction at Port Chester Middle School for a long-term, safe and cost-effective solution.

    The PCMS Safety Project will resolve emergency safety concerns by removing the exterior concrete cantilevers, repairing pedestrian bridges and replacing stairwell fire safety doors. The district/school will see an annual 8% energy   savings, thanks to the replacement of the 50-year-old single-pane windows with state-of-the-art energy-efficient insulated windows. A smaller portion of the project also addresses two delayed projects on other campuses: installing ADA-compliant hand rails at Edison School and upgrading the high school auditorium’s audio system.

    Port Chester Middle School is a National Blue Ribbon award-winning school (2005), that currently serves approximately 1,000 students in grades 6-8. The Board of Education approved the Bond Project at its December meeting and now shares it with district residents for their consideration this winter season.

     Please view the attached PDF for more information.

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Pledge to Vote: PCMS Bond 2018

    Our district would love to see a record turnout in February for the Port Chester Middle School’s Bond Project.

    If you plan to vote on Feb. 6, please submit your pledge to PCMSbondpledge2018@portchesterschools.org and let us know! Kindly include your name in the email.

    Voting takes place in the Port Chester Middle School gymnasium (located at 113 Bowman Avenue) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    For more information about the PCMS Bond Project, click here.

    To RSVP to the event on Facebook, click here.

    For additional questions, kindly contact the Port Chester District Office.  

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Pup Pipi Crowned in PCMS’ Cutest Pet Contest as Students Show Generous Spirit

    From a flock of adorable dogs and cats, students at Port Chester Middle School crowned Pipi – a rat terrier, Pomeranian, miniature pincher and pitbull mix – as the cutest pet.

    During December, cheerful students voted in the “Cutest Pet Contest,” which consisted of 34 dogs and cats owned by PCMS staff members. Each child donated $1 to cast a vote – and raised over $600, which was given to Pet Rescue, a pet adoption service in Harrison. The winner, Pipi, is owned by physical education teacher Melissa Piccola.

    As a surprise, on Dec. 22, the PCMS auditorium was visited by a handful of adorable furry friends - puppies to adult dogs. The students were bright with excitement, kneeling down to cuddle with them. Others giggled, overjoyed to pet and feed them treats. While some of the dogs belonged to Port Chester staff members, most were available to adopt from Pet Rescue.

    The initiative was spearheaded by the PCMS physical education staff from the desire to give back to the local community. Mr. Michael Bonanno had never owned a dog until two years ago when he adopted his Norwich terrier.

    “The children saw how important the lives of pets are,” he said. “My dog changed my life. In class, we talk about stress management and how dogs can help with relaxation. This event is also about giving back to others.”

    The money raised was donated to Pet Rescue to help increase awareness for animal adoptions. In addition, students and staff also donated pet food, blankets, beds and toys to help the animals currently at the organization.

    PCMS Principal Patrick Swift was proud of his students for their willingness to donate, praising their kind-heartedness and saying that the children always share with the community at any opportunity. Pet Rescue's Judith Roth attended the event and was also grateful for PCMS' caring nature.

    “We are so overwhelmed by the students’ generosity,” she said. “Through the school’s support, we are able to save dogs and give them a home.”

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Port Chester Programs Receive Funding for Student Success

    Two of Port Chester Public Schools’ partner programs were awarded Westchester County Youth Bureau “Invest in Kids” grants.

    In late-December, the organization granted “One World” and “Steer for Student-Athletes” with funding for a three-year period, beginning in 2018. Each program will receive approximately $45,000 each year.

    The One World program, “Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders,” helps Port Chester Schools to further its character education program, which was initiated last year (with assistance from the Harvard Think Tank on Global Competence). The funding will also support the implementation of the nation’s leading character education program, Character.org.

    Funding for the Steer for Student-Athletes program will support the expansion of existing programs in Port Chester Public Schools. The program provides support services – including giving social, academic and athletic assistance to student-athletes in order to graduate – and prepares them for further education into college and careers.

    “Our district is pleased and proud to continue our partnerships to bring high-quality and effective support programming to our students,” said Joe Durney, Port Chester’s Deputy Superintendent. “These organizations support district initiatives that have proven effective. We are delighted that this funding will further our mission to ensure our students’ success.”

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Information about E-Cigarettes, Drug-Free Campuses

    Please read this important letter from Port Chester High School’s principal, Dr. Mitchell Combs, about e-cigarettes and maintaining a drug-free campus.

     Parents are invited to two upcoming information sessions:

    • February 27: Open House Parent Q&A (from 4-6:30 p.m. in Room 103)
    • March 28: “Setting Limits for Your Child” presentation (from 4-5 p.m. in PCHS library)
    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Our New Superintendent’s Corner Shares District’s Message

    Visit our new Superintendent’s Corner to learn more about Dr. Edward Kliszus and the issues that are important to the district.

    You can find his overarching message and Twitter feed, along with updates about advocacy and upcoming bonds.

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Help Us Obtain Our Rightful School Foundation Aid

    Foundation Aid was established a decade ago to ensure that all students receive their constitutionally guaranteed right to a sound and basic education, regardless of their zip code. The failure to adhere to the original 2007-08 Foundation Aid formula has cut our state aid by more than $168 million over 10 years. This comes at a time when costs have risen and our enrollment has grown by more than 800 students.

    Help us obtain our rightful school aid by contacting state-elected officials and others who influence state funding for education. Parents can help by signing a petition.

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Port Chester Schools Collaborates on Interfaith MLK Commemorative Event

    Local leaders in the Port Chester community, including Port Chester Schools Superintendent Edward Kliszus, recently gathered to organize the Interfaith Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative event.

    This is the fourth year of the event, which celebrates Dr. King’s legacy. This year’s commemorative ceremony will be held on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Community members are invited to St. Frances AME Zion Church, located at 18 Smith St.

    In addition to readings of Dr. King’s work, the celebration will include a keynote speech by the Rev. James Furman of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and a special performance by Port Chester Middle School’s 8th-grade chorus. The Rev. Helen Taylor and Nina Jones will receive the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee Humanitarian awards.

    The organizing interfaith committee is composed of All Souls Presbyterian Church, Bethel Sounds of Praise, Bethesda Baptist, Christ Episcopal Church, Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel, Girtman Memorial, Holy Rosary Roman Catholic, Mount Zion Baptist, Rye Presbyterian, St. Frances AME Zion, St. Paul’s Lutheran, St. Peter’s Episcopal, and Port Chester Public Schools. Additional parking is provided by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (just north of St. Frances) and refreshments are provided by nearby Neri’s Bakery.

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • PCMS Wins Khan Academy Prize

    Port Chester Middle School has been awarded a $500 prize from Khan Academy for excelling in a six-week challenge called LearnStorm.  Thousands of schools participated in this year’s challenge and only 33 were recognized for going “above and beyond.”  The PCMS Math Department uses Khan Academy in classrooms for skills practice and to allow students to go beyond what they are learning in the classroom. 

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Add Our Calendars to Your Device

    Here's everything you need to know about adding our school or district calendars to your personal devices

    PORT CHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Why Has New York State Underfunded the Port Chester Schools by $145,452,292?

The Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District has been underfunded by $145,452,292 over 10 years, violating the constitutional rights of our students to a sound and basic education regardless of zip code.   By freezing Foundation Aid and using designated state aid to fill Albany’s budget gaps, statewide school funding is now inadequate. 

Port Chester is designated as a “high needs” district, with 72% of our students qualifying for Free and Reduced Price lunch and 28% requiring ELL services.  Our enrollment continues to climb, and we are now the most underfunded of the eight underfunded districts with increased enrollment in New York State.

 How Does NY State Provide Aid to School Districts?

Foundation Aid:  Foundation Aid is unrestricted aid to school districts.  It includes a formula designed to increase funding to the neediest districts in the state.  Foundation Aid was established in 2007 as a result of a lawsuit brought by The Campaign for Fiscal Equity in order to meet the state’s legal obligation to ensure that all districts could provide a “sound basic education” for their students.  The funds were to be phased in over four years, and larger increases were scheduled at the end of the four years. 

In April of 2009, Albany froze Foundation Aid at 2008-2009 levels.   Not only did we never receive the aid due us under the law, in that time Albany and Washington have passed additional costly mandates and inflation has taken its toll.  On top of that, Port Chester’s student population has increased by 619 students – with no corresponding increase in aid. 

In the years since, we have lost more than $145.5 million in Foundation Aid.

Other state aid is provided to help pay for voter approved capital projects, for services we purchase through BOCES, library books and computer software, transportation and tuitions for our highest needs children.  These expense driven aids are minimal when compared to Foundation Aid.

What is the Gap Elimination Adjustment?

As the New York State governor and legislators developed the state budget in recent years, they filled a gap between expenditures and revenues by raiding Foundation Aid funds for the schools.  The shortfall has been divided among all school districts in the state, creating a Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA).  It is a negative number; money that is deducted from the aid due to our district.

So in addition to losing $135.5 million due to freezing Foundation Aid, we have lost $9,959,274 since 2009 because of the GEA.

The NY State School Boards Association has an excellent brief that explains the GEA.  You can read it online by following this link.  The GEA was halted for the 2016-2017 budget year, but its impact is still felt.

Here are the Numbers